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Dudleya lanceolata (Lanceleaf Liveforever)

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Scientific Name

Dudleya lanceolata Britton & Rose

Common Names

Lanceleaf Liveforever, Lance-leaved Dudleya, Southern California Dudleya

Synonyms

Cotyledon bernardina, Cotyledon brauntonii, Cotyledon brautonii, Cotyledon congesta, Cotyledon hallii, Cotyledon lanceolata, Cotyledon lurida, Cotyledon minor, Cotyledon parishii, Cotyledon robusta, Dudleya bernardina, Dudleya bicolor, Dudleya brauntonii, Dudleya congesta, Dudleya elongata, Dudleya hallii, Dudleya lurida, Dudleya minor, Dudleya parishii, Dudleya pendletonia, Dudleya reflexa, Dudleya robusta, Dudleya temeculana, Echeveria bernardina, Echeveria brauntonii, Echeveria congesta, Echeveria elongata, Echeveria gossoti, Echeveria hallii, Echeveria lanceolata, Echeveria minor, Echeveria monicae, Echeveria parishii, Echeveria reflexa, Echeveria robusta

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Dudleya

Description

Dudleya lanceolata is a succulent perennial with fleshy, pointed leaves of variable shape and size, from a basal rosette of flat, spade-shaped leaves to bunches of longer, thicker leaves. It grows up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall and about the same in width. The leaves are also variable in color, from pale green to darker green to red, sometimes having a light powdery white coating. They are often shrivel under drought stress. The stem is erect and bears a branching inflorescence with up to 20 flowers on each of its few branches. The flowers are yellow, orange, pink or red, with pale green bases and appear in spring and summer.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Most of the myriad habitats Dudleyas occupy become dry in summer. Therefore, it is important to cut off water to Dudleyas in your garden during summer. Plants grown in sandy soils or containers are exceptions. They will accept infrequent summer watering as long as the soil drains well. The onset of fall or winter rains reawakens Dudleyas from drought-induced dormancy. Their shriveled leaves plump up quickly, growth resumes and flowering occurs during the next spring or summer. These plants are amazingly resilient. If a portion of a colony sloughs off a cliff face or is uprooted by a burrowing animal, it can persist for months until soil contact is reestablished. Species that naturally grow on ocean bluffs are also salt-spray tolerant.

Dudleyas have their share of disease and pest problems. If you can prevent Argentine Ants from introducing mealybugs or aphids to your Dudleyas, they will be healthier. Mealybugs nestle in the deep recesses of the leaves and their feeding weakens the plants.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Dudleya.

Origin

Dudleya lanceolata is native to the mountains of Southern California and Baja California, where it is found in rocky areas and slopes.

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